Access to generic drugs to improve soon
Thanks to a new public private partnership model, generic medicines under the Jan Aushadhi scheme will be sold in private hospitals soon.
June 12, 2015: "It has now been decided to extend the scheme through public private partnership and partnering with individual entrepreneurs so that people take full advantage of the scheme", stated a notification by the Department of Pharmaceuticals. The Jan Aushadhi scheme is run by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs under the Department of Pharmaceuticals to provide drugs at affordable prices. The Department has invited applications from private hospitals, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and charitable institutions to establish Jan Aushadhi stores to provide special assistance under various schemes. The move is expected to provide wider access of generic medicines to people at cheaper rates. There are about 160 such stores at present selling more than 360 important drugs at lower margins.
A comparison of prices reveals that normal drugs are three to fourteen times expensive than which are available at Jan Aushadhi stores. The base prices of medicines available at these stores are fixed by National Pharma Pricing Authority (NPPA) and the trade margins are usually in the range of 8 per cent to 20 per cent depending on the nature of the drug.
The new business plan is expected to expand the number of Jan Aushadhi stores to 3,000 in the next three years, though there are challenges in motivating doctors to prescribe generic drugs as well as awareness creation and building trust among people with regard to efficacy of generic drugs.